Ilkeston Town (H) 18/19
Coventry United FC v Ilkeston Town FC
Midland Football League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 22ndDecember 2018
Venue: Butts Park Arena
Well hello one and all. After last week’s hard earned 1-0 victory away at Lye Town, today United begin their Christmas programme with a tough encounter at home to current league leaders Ilkeston Town.
Ilkeston have had a great season so far and hold a healthy 5pt lead at the top so this is sure to be yet another tough game for United.
United manager Terry Anderson has been busy strengthening his team ahead of the busy Christmas period as he looks to try and pull United back up the league table.
The referee gats the game under way and it’s Town that make the first impression when they force a couple of early set pieces that are gladly easily dealt with by the United defence in the 2ndand 4thminutes.
United’s first good chance comes in the 10thminute when a free kick by Jake Holt sees Jamal Clarke head the ball down for Kyle Barnett to shoot from 8yrds out but sadly his effort blazes high over the bar.
Town’s first meaningful attempt on goal comes in the 18thminute when a cross from the left finds the No7 Lavelle White in space but his header falls tamely into the arms of United’s keeper Brendan Bunn.
Both teams are giving the ball away too easily at times and seem to be cancelling each other out on this sticky pitch. United’s Ben Vallance ventures forward on one of his runs from deep before seeing his 30yrd effort easily claimed by the Town keeper Liam Mitchell in the 26thminute. Two minutes later in the 28thminute Ben Vallance goes on another run but this time sets up Joe Cairns but his shot goes wide of the target.
United have now settled well into the game and are seeing the majority of the ball but are just lacking that little bit of luck in front of goal. More United good pressure sees Ben Vallance again in a good forward position as he shoots and brings out a good save from the Town keeper Liam Mitchell in the 39thminute.
The half is drawing to an end and United are finishing it strongly but fail to create any clear cut chances before the referee blows up for half time with the deadlock still unbroken.
UNITED 0 ILKESTON 0
The second half gets under way with neither side making any changes during the break. United start brightly and in the 51stminute they press forward and a goal mouth scramble ensues as Town defend for their lives as United see both Joe Cairns and Curvin Ellis have shots cleared off the line.
A few minutes later Town make a change when they take off the No10 Malaki Moore and send on the No12 Alex Marshall in the 57thminute. Then United follow suit in the 58thminute with a change of their own. They take off Curvin Ellis and send on the returning Kai Williams. Kai Williams does not have to wait too long for his first sniff at goal after a punt up field by the hard working Jake Holt sees Williams race onto the ball before sending his shot wide of the target in the 67thminute.
The first booking of the game comes in the 69thminute when United’s Gift Mussa is booked for a tackle on the Town No8 Kyle Dixon.
With United still seeing more of the ball, they are still lacking that final ball to create that clear cut chance. The 74thminute sees United make another change when they take off debutant Harrison sawyer and send on Luke Jones. The Town respond minutes later when they take off the No8 Kyle Dixon and send on the No21 Shaun Rickford in the 82ndminute.
The game is nearing the end and a scare for United sees Town break forward with a rare attack that sees United’s keeper Brendan Bunn having to save well with his feet from a shot from the No12 Alex Marshall in the 90thminute.
That would have been daylight robbery if that had gone in as the game moves into added time. The next few minutes sees the Town pick up a couple of late bookings with the No2 Tom Marshall getting his for throwing the ball away in the 90+2 minutes and the No11 Jamie Walker getting his for a tackle on United’s Kevin Thornton in the 90+3 minutes.
Soon after the referee brought an end to proceedings when he blew up for full time and the points are shared.
UNITED 0 ILKESTON 0
In summing up this game I would have to say it was an ENTHRAULING GAME. It wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination but what it did have was plenty of fight, passion and commitment from both teams.
Ilkeston started brightly without casing United any serious problems but once United settled into the game they started to command the game for long periods. Although having the lion’s share of the possession, they still failed to make the pressure count with a breakthrough goal as they went into the break with the deadlock still intact.
The second half saw United dominate the half even more than the first but with the same problem in trying to break down a very tough stern Ilkeston team showing they are not at the top of the league for nothing.
Both teams had their chances to snatch all 3pts but the chances were not taken and the points are shared.
United are looking a good strong unit and once the new signings bed in I’m sure the chances will come with a higher percentage being converted into goals that will then lead to more victories and points so let’s keep the faith.
Players worthy of a mention would have to be the Ilkeston No7 Lavelle White. Although his team did not create too much today, he was the one who looked the more likely to cause United problems with his skilful running with the ball and not being afraid to get stuck in when required.
For United this was another great team effort. They all worked hard for each other and never gave up as they looked for a breakthrough.
As usual Jamal Clarke and Kyle Barnett were man mountains at the back and never gave the Town forwards a sniff. Gift Mussa put in another good solid shift in the middle of the park that got stickier the more the game went on. Ben Vallance kept up his recent good form with a good attacking display from left back as he pressed forward many times during the game. But for me today, the man of the match award has to go to Jake Holt. Jake today had a fantastic game in a very competitive midfield battle that saw him getting stuck in throughout. Today though it was his attacking flair that shone out with his surging runs forward to spring many of United’s attacks and also showed his ability to ping a mean ball all around the pitch to play in a team mate so well played Jake Holt.
We now move onto the game against the Sphinx on Boxing day and that should be another cracking battle of a game so until then I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. PUCU
Game stats United Ilkeston
On target (4) (3)
Off target (7) (2)
Corners (2) (3)
Free kicks (22) (14)
Yellow cards (1) (2)
Red cards (0) (0)
Offside (2) (3)